Have you ever had one of those moments when you wake up in the morning, where the first thing you want to do is kick Eve right in the shins? You drag yourself out of bed, take one good look in the mirror, and think to yourself, Ugh, I have to take that out in public today?
Eve was obviously the first woman in recorded history who didn’t want to be who she was or where she was. She didn’t know who or where she would prefer to be, but she wanted more of whatever it was she didn’t have. We all carry that imprint of Eden on our souls; we all crave wholeness. And at one point or another, we’ve all tucked God in our pockets and said, Thanks, I can take it from here.
We don’t mean to, and oftentimes if we are asked, we would deny it. Sometimes in our human nature, God never becomes bigger than our tangible desires, so when those align, we let him sit on the bench. We all want God to be a part of our lives, and when we think that it’s just going to drive itself from there, that’s when our life with God gets shallow.
When I first moved to Oregon, my life became a whole lot bigger and something happened in my heart. My dreams were so loud, I couldn’t hear His voice. I found out what happens to my heart when my eyes drop from a holy God to a golden calf I’ve made for myself. It’s not pretty. In those moments, I could see my reflection in Peter: devoted but selfish, committed but misguided. It wasn’t until much later that I realized my unfulfilled dreams can choke out God just as much as the tangible realizations of those dreams. My heart wanted what He could give way more than it wanted just Him. For all my self-proclaimed love of God’s Word, what I really loved were the parts that worked for me. For my good. For my blessings.
Throughout my time here, Oregon has become my place of healing and rescue. And it has been you, my Grace Chapel community, that has shaped and transformed me the most. During my time here, God has manifested a new calling for me. I fought it – I believed God could never be more real to me than He was in Oregon. However, God gently reminded me that my free fall into His grace was not because of Oregon, but because of Him. God has assured me that what He began in Oregon was a union, and He can continue it anywhere. I know obedience required me to come to Oregon, but I never thought it would require me to leave.
What I needed was to know the One who held my path, and I needed to know Him in a way I’d never known Him before. I’d never known God up close enough to be wrecked by His love, close enough to want to put my dreams in His hands with joy and relief, close enough to let Him write new dreams if He wanted.
I’m headed for big change. Most of us look at change as a threat. It’s foreign and it jacks up what we know and love. It makes the consistent inconsistent. It typically removes comfort. But change is not a threat. It’s a fact. God can be found right in the midst of change and He uses change to change us. He sends us on journeys that bring us to the end of ourselves. We feel out of control, but if we embrace His leading, we may find ourselves on the ride of our lives. When God calls you to something new, it’s not worth it to risk saying no, and one day stand before Jesus and say, Oh, were you serious about all that?
I’ve quit my full time job and sold all of my belongings. God has called me to serve on a mission trip with Adventures in Missions (AIM) called World Race. It’s an 11-month mission trip through 11 different countries, all while living a life of service out of a backpack. AIM’s mission trips are designs to provide long-term relationship and care, through partnership with local ministry, adding to what is already done by the local people.
My encouragement to you is this:
Stop overthinking. God didn’t come for us to wrap our minds around Him, He came to wrap His arms around us, to show us the heart of a Father, to give us a taste of what’s to come. From this point forward, don’t stick God in your pocket. Allow yourself to be changed by His redemptive grace. Choose a terrifying yes or an uncomfortable no. Theres a chance to choose normal and there’s a chance to choose a story. I chose a story. Part of my story involves me sharing His hope with those who don’t have it. The best stories have never been easy.
So, to the women of Grace Chapel, to the Grace that shaped me: Thank you for being a mirror the Lord has used to help me see myself more clearly. I leave with you my best friend, my missional community group, and my Ardent girls. Love them – love them hard – and never stop fighting for one another. God has spoken to me over and over through your lives, our conversations, our laughter, and our tears. I love you and I’m blessed to have walked this life with you. To the ordinary, extraordinary, brave, generous, Jesus-loving, people-loving community of Grace Chapel: I can’t think of another group of people I’d rather do life with.
See you in 11 months!
Lyndsee Landon has attended Grace Chapel for 4 years. She’s served in both Kidventure and Ardent ministries. She will be leaving the country for 11 months to travel to 11 different countries, all while living a life of service out of a backpack. If you’d like to partner with God in what He has called her to do, visit her blog at: Lyndseelandon.theworldrace.org.